Faculty Publications

Title

Failure to Protect: How Tracking Refugees into Temporary Work Violates Economic Rights

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

International Migration

Volume

59

Issue

3

First Page

213

Last Page

227

Abstract

Refugees often imagine resettlement to the USA to be a solution to their problems, but the process of resettlement is full of social, cultural and economic hurdles. Through an ethnographic analysis of a resettlement agency, this research shows that refugee employment specialists consistently track refugees into low-wage and contingent work even when refugees have strong language skills, experience in professional work, and advanced degrees. Bureaucratic reporting structures and quota requirements create pressures on refugee employment specialists to place refugees in jobs quickly which hinders them from working towards meaningful economic self-sufficiency. The denial of refugee autonomy in pursuit of work and economic freedoms is a human rights violation facilitated by a government failure to protect them from third-party exploitation. This article argues that the chronic underemployment of refugees exemplifies a common, but understudied type of economic rights violation.

Department

Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

Original Publication Date

6-1-2021

DOI of published version

10.1111/imig.12768

Repository

UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Language

en

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